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January 2020 Archives

Potential estate administration challenges with family farms

Valuable real estate is bound to be a challenge when it comes to writing a will, especially if there are multiple beneficiaries. But this challenge can deepen if the land is a working farm, especially if the intention is to keep the farm in business rather than sell it. Without proper planning, communication and documentation, the Ontario farmers' dreams of a multi-generational business can turn into an estate administration nightmare for their families.

Can verbal promises made outside a will lead to litigation?

When someone decides to change a detail of a will, it is often not enough to just declare the intention aloud. Rather, Ontario planners should always put changes in writing to avoid future conflict. When this is not done, and someone insists a promise was made that is not included in the legal documents, it can lead to estate litigation through an estoppel claim.

Is it a good idea to name executors that are also beneficiaries?

Conflict of interest is often a question that arises when creating estate plans. Specifically, some people may wonder if naming a beneficiary as an executor could lead to a will being challenged. Certainly, Ontario wills that name beneficiaries as executors do have an added layer of complexity, but this is very common practice and can be a fine solution if navigated properly.

Why updating estate plans is a good New Year's resolution

For many, the start of a new year is an opportunity to set goals and mark the direction for the year to come. Financial resolutions are commonplace for many Ontario adults, whether it's making a budget, earning more or safeguarding assets. When it comes to the latter, be sure to keep estate plans on your radar. Updating early and often can help prevent litigation in the future.